Friday, July 27, 2012

Whole Foods Friday: Wine and Fruit Sauce

When it comes to drinking wine, I usually choose a white unless we're talking about a fruity sangria or a port. But when it comes to cooking - I love cooking with red wines, and of course there's red wine vinegar that's so wonderful.

Not only do I like cooking with wine - like adding it to stews, tomato sauces, or chili - but I also love wine sauces.

The simplest version of a wine sauce is little more than greatly reduced wine. Adding sugar gives the sauce a bit more body and of course it adds sweetness.

This red wine sauce goes a step further and adds fruit to the wine and sugar. You can buy fruit specifically for this recipe, but it's also a great way to use up stone fruit that's just a little bit overripe. No one wants to eat that plum that's just a little squishy, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Softer fruit can be very sweet - even sweeter than the ones you'd say are perfectly ripe for eating.

Of course, you want to cut off any nasty bruises or bad spots. But don't worry if it's a little soft - it's still great for cooking - and sometimes it's even better. Of course, you can also cook ripe fruit - you don't have to wait for it to become overripe.

I used this wine sauce over ice cream and some more stone fruit. The fruit I used was mango nectarines, but peaches or standard nectarines would work, too.

While a sundae might not seem like a company-worthy dessert, when you've got a home made wine sauce, good ice cream, and some perfectly ripe fruit, it's just as good for company as it is for a simple family meal. This sauce can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated until you need it.

For the red wine, use anything you like to drink, but don't splurge on something expensive.

Wine and Fruit Sauce

2 cups stone fruit (cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines)
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Wash the fruit, remove stems, and trim off any bad spots. If you like, you can cut the larger fruits in half and remove the pits. You can also cook them whole, but it will take a little more time to break them down.

Put the fruit, wine, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer and cook, stirring as needed, and mashing the fruit as it softens, until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 of the original amount. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer and refrigerate until needed.

Besides using this sauce on ice cream (or pie! OOooh, PIE!!!) it would also work for savory recipes - brushed on chicken or pork for grilling, or added to a salad dressing. Or added to a braised dish. Sure, it's not the right weather right now for a braised dish, but I can plan ahead, right?

Or mix it with a sparkling wine, a sparkling soda, or lemonade or iced tea.

Or drizzle it on steak. I'm sure you can think of even more ideas.

For info about Whole Foods and what Whole Foods Friday is all about, check out the tab at the top.

Stone Fruit & Wine Sauce on Punk